Pumpkin boats, whether captained by avant-gourd record-smashers or costumed squads of competitive squashbucklers, have sprouted up as part of fall festivals across North America. The splashing pumpkins have been spotted in Tualatin Oregon, Elk Grove California, Salt Lake City Utah, Cooperstown New York, Damariscotta Maine, and Lake Pesaquid in Nova Scotia, home of the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.
It all started with a simple tweet. Nova Scotia commentator Parker Donham wanted to show his support of a local candidate by taking a picture of his marked ballot and posting it to his Twitter followers. Elections Nova Scotia took a dim view of this violation of the Elections Act, and tweeted a reply: "please be advised that your action is being referred to the RCMP for investigation", stating it is illegal to bring a recording or communication device into the polling station. Donham defends his action, and much controversy ensues. [more inside]
Squirrels in Nova Scotia work harder. Some cute squirrel photos to help you prepare for Monday. [more inside]
Happy belated birthday to Jesus Murphy, Haslam, DJ Critical, Uncle Climax (NSFW audio), Stinkin' Rich (NSFW audio), Dirk Thornton, Buck 65, or as his mom called him, Richard Terfry. Born in the year of the rat, and he's a Pisces, which makes him a rat fish, but by trade, he's a turntablist/ MC/ producer/ broadcaster. Generally he makes some form of hip-hop (some NSFW lyrics), though as of late, he's been broadening his style, as heard in his cover of Leonard Cohen's Who By Fire (previously) and Paper Airplane (official "lyric" video). In tribute to his 41st birthday, there's a lot more music inside. [more inside]
Nicole Ryan, a Nova Scotia teacher, offered a hit man $25,000 to bump off her husband because the police would not protect her from his abuse (longer, audio only). In her first 2010 trial, where she raised the defense of duress, she was aquitted; the Crown's 2011 appeal of that acquittal was dismissed, and her third 2013 trial resulted in a stay. But the victim didn't go on the stand to tell his side of the story. [more inside]
I Was Climbin The Stairs At Machu Picchu / Found My Cellphone And Tried To Reach You. Chester, Nova Scotia's Old Man Luedecke does what he does best: strums a banjo and tells some wandering stories, live at Toronto's Great Hall. Also in his backyard. On his davenport. In the bathtub. Sometimes he does covers. Sometimes he makes them more interesting by translating them into a language he doesn't speak.
The Revolutionary War in the US was fought for freedom. For Blacks, the promise of freedom was on the side of the Crown. [more inside]
"A skirmish between a junior high school principal and one of his students is yet again playing out publicly after a video of the incident was posted online. Ken Fells, a 15-year employee of the Halifax Regional School Board, was removed from his post at Graham Creighton Junior High School in Cherry Brook, N.S., after an altercation with a student on March 3." [more inside]
[NSFW] It's almost time to Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys -- the final episode of the Trailer Park Boys aired in December, 2008. (As Bubbles says, "It's a dirty, sassy liquor. So sassy.") Producer Mike Clattenburg says that there will be a second movie, "Countdown to Liquor Day", to be released late in 2009. After that, though, the TPB franchise will buy the great double-wide in the sky. [pervyously, preevisilly or however th' fuck you say it.] [more inside]
Dick Stacey's Country Jamboree is now available on DVD/CD after years of slowly fading into obscurity. "I was wrong in thinking the Jamboree was a thing of the past," said Dick Stacey, a man whose three gas stations and motel took over sponsoring this uniquely Maine talent showcase on a whim in 1973—and ended up lasting just over a decade. [more inside]
Canadian author Lesley Choyce and his family share their extended encounter with a surfeit of skunks in a short documentary, avaible on YouTube in three parts. [more inside]
The Dreaded Half Worcester warning: music is just one of the possible vexing configurations players encounter in candlepin bowling, a regional variation on traditional bowling that's unique to northern New England and maritime Canada. Developed in Worcester, MA, around 1880 (warning: more music), the game is played in gorgeous antique alleys dotted around New England and Nova Scotia, and features a 4 1/2" wooden or rubber ball, three rolls per frame or "box," and 15 and 3/4" narrow, cylinder-shaped pins that are the devil to knock down -- even though you can use the dead wood to knock other pins down, a score over 200 is extremely rare. Find some lanes and play or just take the quiz - like so many regional quirks, this one's undergoing a bit of a revival.
Wolfville, Nova Scotia to become Canada's first fairtrade town, with an added emphasis on buying locally. Garstang, England, became the world's first fairtrade town in 2000, and Wales is aiming at being the first fairtrade country. Too big of a scale for you? You might want to start by encouraging your local schools or religious communities to make the jump.
Delusional Calgaria (De-luge-unul Cal-gu-ree-uh): An affliction that affects 4 out of 5 Nova Scotians living away from home in Calgary. And a second opinion...
Sunday Shopping in Nova Scotia. You might not think there's anywhere left in Western Civilization where this is still an issue. But in the little Canadian province of Nova Scotia, it's causing a storm, with big stores working around the law to stay open, and the government legislating in haste to try to keep them closed. But not all of them - and that's leading to accusations of unfairness and even cronyism too.
The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has some cool online exhibits. The original list of dead bodies recovered from the Titanic sinking caught my eye, they also have original log book pages from privateers, lighthouses, slavery and abolition, boats, boats, and more boats. [via]
Halifax under curfew. The Globe and Mail and the CBC are reporting that the Province of Nova Scotia has placed Halifax, Canada, under a curfew tonight. The city has taken this unprecedented peacetime action to allow the snow plows to deal with the 100cm (~50 inches) of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. Anyone caught on the streets between 11pm and 7am faces a CDN$1000 fine.
Oak Island is one of the greatest treasure hunting mysteries of the last 400 years. The Money Pit as it is called, has stirred up a bevy of questions including how this simple pit has alluded treasure hunters and scientists to this day. Some believe that it might be the location of the Holy Grail, stashed by the Templar Knights. Other's believe that it might be the resting place of Sir Francis Bacon's original plays acreditted to William Shakespear. The most common belief is that The pirate Captain Kidd hid his huge stash of gold deep within the pit which accounts for all of the unusual traps. Regardless of the wild speculation there has been evidence to suggest that there is deffinately something in the pit. But not all agree....
Big Plans. Little Brains. Mike Clattenburg's Trailer Park Boys could soon be more than just a Canadian phenomenon. The mockumentary began as a film, was adapted into a TV series and has been airing for three seasons on Showcase in Canada (not to be confused with this). Ricky, Julian and Bubbles even joined Our Lady Peace during its Fear of the Trailer Park Tour last summer (soon to be documented on CD and DVD) and could be seen alongside Don Cherry in The Tragically Hip's video for "The Darkest One" (a look behind the scenes - qt version). Bubbles even appeared in that informer guy's video for "Legal" and has been writing music reviews in character. (TPB was mentioned briefly here and here.)
The Mystery Pit of Oak Island. In 1795, two boys found a treasure map on Oak Island, on the coast of Nova Scotia; two hundred years, tens of millions of dollars and six lives later, the island is nearly obliterated with holes and excavations, and no one is any richer... The story of Oak Island makes a fine allegory for pursuing phantom riches at the expense of all else, in addition to just making a damn fine story.